We rely on your reports of any natural or wildlife related items of interest.
Please pass your reports to Iain. See our Contacts page for details.

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You can also find us on Facebook (@moffatwildlife) where you can read all about the latest work and sightings on Dyke Farm Nature Reserve. Click on the logo to go there.

Farm gates are closed for a reason - if you open one to get through then
Do NOT climb over gates or fences.

If you wish to join our club (and new members are very welcome) application forms are available from the usual outlets. Alternatively, you can download an application form from here. The form is in Microsoft Word format so should be readily viewable/printable (if it opens in a 'protected view' mode there is usually an option to enable printing). Our membership fee for a year is currently £12 per adult (discounted to £20 for two adults living at the same address) but free for those under 16 years of age.
Non-members are also welcome at any of our meetings but are asked to pay an admission fee of a modest £3.00 per adult (free for those aged under 16).

Clicking on an image on our pages will give normally give an enlarged version (maximum 640 x 480 pixels approximately). Higher resolution images may be available on request (subject to the copyright holder's agreement) - contact John for details. If submitting photographs, cropping and/or resizing to a maximum of 640 pixels wide and maximum of 480 pixels high would be appreciated. This would save us work, is good enough for a computer display and lessens the chance of the image being 'stolen' for use elsewhere.

Some pages have not been updated for quite some time due to virus restrictions and John becoming much less able. Keep this in mind when viewing.

May 2022

We have recently been weeding out the hundreds of trees in our hedges planted the past 3 years. Most are doing well though we have just got 100 Blackthorn and Hawthorn to fill in the odd gap. It has been a windy Autumn and Winter and clearing fallen trees and branches has kept us all busy. We continue to make changes to the path system replacing woodchipped paths with local gravel/stone which will make it much easier to maintain in the future. The paths are a bit of a hybrid type with roughly half woodchipped and half gravelled.

A pair of Greylag Geese hatched goslings on the wetland area and took their brood to the Community reserve which was a first and a pair of Mute Swans have taken up residence on the wetland and the female is sitting on a nest as we speak. Young Moorhens can be seen and Mallard ducklings should appear anytime. Summer migrants are back with Swallows in the top shed and a few Sand Martins hopefully using the sand bank. Local Ospreys are back on site and summer migrants arrive every day. The nest boxes on the reserve are busy with both Tree and House Sparrows and the usual tits and Stock Dove and hopefully Barn Owl. While out delivering papers a feature of the past weeks are regular sightings of Brown Hare along Old Carlisle Road, Alton Road and even in the top woodland area with some even feeding in local gardens which is unusual. In our gardens the past weeks has been an influx of Siskin, Redpoll and Goldfinch.

Apologies for a complete lack of updates the past year....my fault entirely.....Iain Anderson.

15 May 2021

The Little Egret turned up early January in the Station Park and the Great Egret has been a very popular bird in the area on and off and has been seen by many locals....still remarkable in my opinion. Red Kites were seen up the Golf Course and Craigielands area. Green Woodpeckers were seen/heard at Torthorwald wood and Beechwood. In early February there were 6 Crossbill up East Field Rise and Oystercatchers began to return inland. Two Red Legged Partridges were seen in various gardens up Beechgrove/Hillside Terrace. Two Hen Harrier were seen up Wanlockhead area with Red Squirrel up Golf Hill and the Tree Sparrow numbers at the Reserve were at least 36 birds which is great. Early March brought the first Osprey sightings and Red Kites were seen at Craigielands, Crooked road and the Greenhillstairs which was all good and Great Spotted woodpeckers were heard drumming at various locations. Red Squirrel at Birnock Lodge while delivering was good. At the Community Reserve and flooded part of the River Annan produced 16 Greylag Geese, 14 Canada Geese, a Pinkfoot, 15 Mallard, 20 Teal, 3 Goldeneye, 3 Moorhen, 11 Oystercatcher and 9 Cormorant and a calling Chiffchaff. At the Reserve on the 31st was a male Goosander the first for many years, the Great Egret, 4 Sand Martin and 2 Willow Warbler. On the 5th April at the Community Reserve were 14 Snipe and 5 Sand Martin with 40 plus Meadow Pipits and 12 Pied Wagtails on the adjacent much reduced flooded area on the Annan. Other summer migrants began arriving such as Swallow, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Wheatear, etc. A Whitethroat was at the Reserve on the 28th with 6-8 hopefully breeding pairs of Sand Martins. Cuckoos were reported from Archbank, Selcoth and the Community/Dyke Farm reserves with a reeling Grasshopper Warbler. House Martins are back and Swifts from Monday 10th May.

Many apologies for so little information over the past year...I will try to improve this in the weeks/months coming up.

20th January 2020
From Iain, an update from late October last year -
On the 26th October at the Reserve were 2 Willow Tit, male Reed Bunting,40 Fieldfare, 20-30 Redwing, 5 Mistle Thrush and 3 Jays. While feeding the ducks at the Station Park on Sunday 10th November my mum and sister saw 60 Mallard, a female Teal and a Grey Heron. On the 12th while heading to Dumfries cash and carry I had great views of a Red Kite while the same day Maurice Henderson saw another Red Kite while working in the Daer Reservoir area. At the Reserve on the 16th were a few Meadow Pipits moving through and a mixed flock of 150 Siskin and Lesser Redpoll, 20 Teal, 2 Willow Tit and 2 Roe Deer. A few days later on the 20th a female Merlin was hunting Meadow Pipits and other small birds in the Reserve area. Andy Dickson had
a Brambling in his garden at Braehead, Woodfoot on the 4th December. A Woodcock was at the Community Reserve on the 8th. Judith Lill who lives at The Bield near Johnstonebridge reported having 50 plus Goldfinch in her garden while Alan Bevan at Craigielands also had dozens of Goldfinches in his garden around the 13th. At the Reserve on the 14th was a male Kestrel while on the 18th there were 2 Brambling feeding on Beechmast with dozens of Chaffinch and over 80 Wood Pigeon with the regular 2 Willow Tit and 3 Roe Deer. Once again at the Reserve on the 21st was a Reserve first in the form of a Grey Squirrel feeding on Beechmast with at least 19 Pheasants and at least 2,000 Pink Footed Geese headed North to feeding grounds. Grace Saunders saw a number of Pheasants on the Beattock roundabout on the morning of the 22nd while Jon Haydon had up to 8 Goldfinch in his garden. At the Reserve for the rest of the year and heading into January were all the usual birds with 25 Pheasants on the 28th. Myself and Garry walked around the Community Reserve on the 8th January and as the ground was saturated there were at least 18 Snipe and 15 Teal on the meadow. Not an abundance of birds in peoples gardens in the local area though John Smith had a number of Brambling within a large flock of Chaffinch mid January.

16th January 2020
A real rarity - a Little Egret was seen on our reserve yesterday (15th) by Iain and Jon. The Wednesday Walkers Group also reported seeing a small white heron which could only have been the same bird. Little Egrets are uncommon in Scotland at the best of times so for one to visit us is a real treasure.

All material for 2019 has now been moved to our archives and can be accessed via the menu.